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Rights of way, Car Access

(36 Posts)
Margriet Mon 12-Mar-18 20:36:28

Hello everyone, I have just joined this site, and would like an important question answered.
I bought my house in early 2004. The driveway between my house and my next door neighbour, belongs to him. We both had to sign a solicitors letter giving me a permanent right of way over his driveway, which is before you enter his rear property. Its just a few metres in length and we both have separate gates.
I have been driving over this piece of ground some 14 years now.
Someone told me that after 15 years this becomes a permanent right of way.
I have no intention of moving, but in the future should I ever consider this, would the rights of way be available to a new purchaser ?
Its always been a worry to me.
Thank you so much for your replies.

Blankscreen Tue 13-Mar-18 06:33:08

It depends what you signed.

A solicitors letter doesn't sound very formal so I doubt you have had the right properly granted. Similarly the fact the owner gave you permission Stops the right being acquired by prescription. (Long use).

You are possibly in no man's land. If it is worrying you see a solicitor for advice.

wowfudge Tue 13-Mar-18 06:58:30

There is a conveyance for our house from the 50s which grants rights to next door to gain access using our drive. It also sets out that maintenance costs are shared. The rights and obligations are passed to successors in title so were passed to us and our NDNs. We live in a house which was extended then divided into two houses but there's only one vehicle access route.

GU24Mum Tue 13-Mar-18 08:17:52

It's impossible to say without seeing the document..... but if you've signed a letter, it sounds more like a letter licence and as a PP has said, that is likely to say that you are allowed to use it not that you have a right to use it forever.... but please put a photo of the acutal letter up if you'd like and I'm sure a few of us can have a look at it.

Blankscreen Tue 13-Mar-18 11:03:32

Ok - so are you in the part of the house which was originally granted the right and then subdivided?

If so it will depend on the terms of the original grant of the right and whether the subdivision is beyond the scope of the original grant.

Sonic the right granted say "for all purposes" then you may be ok. If the right granted says " for use by one single dwelling house" then you are probably not ok.

It's difficult to say though without seeing the whole title.

Margriet Tue 13-Mar-18 11:05:28

That is the trouble, that letter was signed by us both and sent back to my neighbours Solicitors. I do not have a copy of that letter. A few years ago I was going to put the house up for sale and my neighbour said he would take away the right of way making my house of a much lesser value. When I bought the house I tried to find out the true ownership of that land as it originally belonged to my house. I spent 4 grand but my solicitor wanted more as she said she had found grey areas. This is not good. Thanks for your reply.

Margriet Tue 13-Mar-18 11:12:04

My house is very large 54 feet along the front, its detached. My neighbours house is a small semi. There is a few metre of driveway to access both properties, my neighbours gates to the front and mine slightly to the right. Both gates are wide enough to get a large truck through. I bought my house when it was totally derelict. No one had lived in it for 25 years or more. The land had been rented out to several people over the years. The owner lived in Belguim. It made it very difficult to complete the sale.

wowfudge Tue 13-Mar-18 12:03:20

Download the title registers and plans of both houses from the Land Registry website. It will cost £12 and you'll be able to see what is recorded as belonging to each house and what rights of way, if any, exist.

Get on to your solicitor - they should have retained a copy of the letter on the file. You should have been sent a copy for your records once the matter was concluded.

Margriet Tue 13-Mar-18 20:16:58

Message withdrawn.

DancingLedge Tue 13-Mar-18 20:20:49

You urgently need to get those names removed.
Report your own post to MN, by clicking the 3 little dots, bottom right of your post.

Blankscreen Tue 13-Mar-18 20:28:39

It's very hard to say without swing all the title documents.

Clearly your solicitor at the time didn't think the rights were sufficient so got something signed.

Do you have any correspondence from your solicitor explaining. You should have received a legal report which sets everything out.

If you can't find it you will need to get a title review done.

Margriet Tue 13-Mar-18 20:48:44

I have tried to get the names removed, there are no 3 small dots at the bottom right on windows 10, only bookmark.
I don't understand, get my own post reported to the BN ?
Please explain ?
Also would the Estate agent still have copies on file, from 2004 ? Thank you.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Tue 13-Mar-18 21:06:56

I've reported it for you. MNHQ should remove it as it contains the names of third parties; that's all.

wowfudge Tue 13-Mar-18 21:10:07

I've reported your post for you OP.

You can get copies of documents referred to from the Land Registry, like the deed from 2004 - you fill in a form and pay £7. They have a helpline and can talk you through it. They can't advise you though. You need to contact the solicitor who acted for you. The EA will neither know nor care as the legal aspects aren't anything to do with them.

Margriet Tue 13-Mar-18 22:16:39

I have just paid £24 including VAT to get the Title Deed and Registry online as stated, is this something else ?

Margriet Tue 13-Mar-18 22:17:45

Thank you for doing this.

CanalCruiser Tue 13-Mar-18 22:43:12

Do you have a Deed of easement? That would ensure you & anyone after you has access...

Margriet Tue 13-Mar-18 22:45:24

Thank you the 3rd party names are gone.

Margriet Tue 13-Mar-18 22:47:34

I have just paid a further £24 to get the deed in full.

Jon66 Tue 13-Mar-18 22:49:39

It can never become a permanent right of way if the owner of the land has consented.

Margriet Tue 13-Mar-18 22:59:39

That's not good news. Would it make a difference if I paid towards the maintenance of the driveway ? For example having it properly tarmacked, its never been done properly. But how could I file this ?

iknowimcoming Wed 14-Mar-18 00:02:40

I'm not a solicitor but we have a similar thing with our shared access, our house is on the right and neighbours Is on the left but since you approach from the right the ndn will always cut the corner of our driveway as it would be virtually impossible not to. When we purchased our solicitor told us he has a right of easement as he's used it for so long so I suspect that's what yours will be too. I don't think your neighbour could withdraw your right to access your property without a lengthy and costly legal battle which he would be very unlikely to win imo but if it were me I would get this properly clarified by a solicitor. Can you check your records and find out who his solicitor was and ask them for a copy of the letter - it should be lodged with the deeds to the ndn's house (and yours too really). But to answer your question - yes the rights would automatically pass to a future purchaser of your house.

DancingLedge Wed 14-Mar-18 00:25:06

I would download the neighbour's deeds, from the Land Registry, in case there's something written there about it.

Margriet Wed 14-Mar-18 09:43:05

Hi DancingLedge would I be able to download my neighbours deeds without him knowing I did this ? also to iknowimcoming, I know have that deed. The part of importance is this :
In consideration of the obligations on the part of the second owner contained in this deed. The first owner with full title guarantee hereby grants to the second owner for the benefit of the second property a rights for the second owner, his successors in title and all persons authorised by him at all times with or without motor vehicles to pass and repass over and along the accessway and use it for the following purposes.
So this seems like the right of way is permanent ? Would I be correct in thinking this ?
Thanking you for your replies.

Blankscreen Wed 14-Mar-18 09:46:54

It's Imossible to say without the plan and the full title.

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